NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


STATEMENT BY NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD
CHAIRMAN JIM HALL
RELATED TO INVESTIGATION OF THE CRASH OF
SWISSAIR FLIGHT 111

October 29, 1998

The National Transportation Safety Board has been assisting the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in its investigation of the crash of Swissair flight 111 near Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 2, 1998. All 229 persons aboard that aircraft perished when the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while attempting an emergency landing in Halifax. Based on evidence in wreckage that has been retrieved from the ocean, the TSB today announced that Swissair is voluntarily disconnecting its Inflight Entertainment System (IFE) on all of its aircraft equipped with systems similar to the one that was aboard flight 111. Some wiring, including that associated with the IFE system, was found with evidence of heat damage. Although it is not known what role that wiring might have played in the accident, I believe Swissair's action is the prudent thing to do, and I commend the airline for acting so quickly once the evidence was discovered. While this IFE system appears to be unique to Swissair, regulators are determining if other aircraft may have this system installed. Canadian and American investigators have many months of hard work ahead of them. I think this is a good time for citizens of both countries to reflect on the selfless devotion being exhibited by investigators of the TSB, the NTSB and other organizations from both sides of our border as they try to find what caused the tragedy of September 2nd.

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.